You can walk more than three blocks. Unfortunately, many Hopkins students don't, for some reason or another.
To such people, Ruby Tuesday's, at the end of the Homewood Apartments, is considered the end, like some sort of boundary gate covered with barbed wire and surrounded by security guards with guns telling you not to walk any further. Most students approach Calvert Street in much the same way. But much like sheltered Catholic schoolgirls, they're missing out. And they're throwing their money away.
However, before you can venture out into the streets like the rebel that you are, you should know a little bit about the area in question. The area of Charles Village covers much more ground, somewhat overlapping Waverly, an area that many consider to begin about four blocks east of St. Paul Street.
Charles Village was originally devised in the 19th century as a first-class neighborhood because of its high ground and attractive views. Instead of townhouses and dorms, the area was once home to sprawling estates, including the Wyman holdings that became the Homewood campus.
However, before the turn of the century, a local developer purchased much of the land and the townhouses were built. Still, such houses were considered high-end and were home to moderately wealthy professionals.
Clearly, things have changed quite a bit. This year, after quite a struggle, the area will say goodbye to two blocks of townhouses to make way for commercial space. For freshmen, it will be a welcome change to the meager row of retail and restaurant space that takes up the 3100 block of St. Paul Street. Much of what's there is expensive for the average college student and isn't that good, either (see info box). The biggest loss to Charles Village this year is the Royal Farms, which means that there's no longer an option for late-night subs, nachos or chicken.
A few blocks east of St. Paul, things are actually a little better in terms of quality and, in some cases, price (see info box). Not only is there better food and grocery shopping, but there's also a Blockbuster Video, Papa John's Pizza, FootAction and Dollar Store. Perhaps more importantly, there's a 7-11 on 33rd Street that will most likely attract a few more students this year, as it is the only 24-hour convenience store in the area.
In addition, Waverly has a weekly farmers market on Saturday mornings all year. If you're not too hung over, it's worth the walk to the parking lot by the 7-11 to buy some fresh local produce.
While Charles Village has its few high points, it's almost a crime not to sample a bit of what Waverly has to offer. Just don't go too far down Greenmount at night, or you'll get mugged.